7 retiring musicians you should see in concert ASAP

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Elton John

Elton John announced on Jan. 24 that he has decided to retire from touring after a half-century of live performances, citing a desire to enter a new chapter and spend more time with his kids — Zachary, 7, and Elijah, 5 — with his longtime partner, David Furnish, 55. “I’ve had a pretty good run,” said John at a press conference in New York City, adding, "It’s a way of going out with a bang. I don’t want to go out with a whimper." Fans anxious to catch John before retirement are in luck: Beginning in September, the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour will be three years long. "Performing live fuels me and I’m ecstatic and humbled to continue to play to audiences across the globe," said the 70-year-old icon. "I plan to bring the passion and creativity that has entertained my fans for decades to my final tour."  Get tickets for the tour here.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon has alluded to an upcoming retirement in the past, telling the New York Times in 2016, "Showbiz doesn't hold any interest for me." Sure enough, the 76-year-old former Simon & Garfunkel hitmaker announced Homeward Bound — The Farewell Tour on Feb. 5. “I’ve often wondered what it would feel like to reach the point where I’d consider bringing my performing career to a natural end,” Simon said in a press release. “Now I know: It feels a little unsettling, a touch exhilarating and something of a relief. I love making music, my voice is still strong, and my band is a tight, extraordinary group of gifted musicians. I think about music constantly. I am very grateful for a fulfilling career and, of course, most of all to the audiences who heard something in my music that touched their hearts.” The 76-year-old Grammy winner will hit North American venues in May and June before heading overseas for European dates in July. Get tickets here

Lynyrd Skynyrd

They might be known for the upbeat "Sweet Home Alabama," but Lynyrd Skynyrd faced tragedy early in their 40-year career as a touring band. Days after releasing their album Street Survivors in 1977, a plane crash killed band members Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, backup singer Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, and pilots Walter McCreary and William Grayon on impact. The band reformed with new members, and now they're honoring the Southern rock group's legacy with the Last of the Street Survivors Farewell Tour, they announced on Jan. 25. "It’s been a true honor to try and fill in my brother’s footsteps for the past 31 years, keeping the music and his spirit alive," said Johnny Van Zant, 58, who joined the band as lead singer after his brother Ronnie died.  Get tickets here.    

Aretha Franklin

If you've never heard Aretha Franklin sing "Respect" or "(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman," you're missing out on a case of the goosebumps. Although Franklin, 75, announced in February 2017 that she would retire from performing at the end of the year, fans still a few more chances to see the Queen of Soul in person. And if you don't get tickets to those shows, all hope might not be lost: Franklin told the Detroit Free Press in August that she plans to open a nightclub where she'll sing "from time to time." Plus, she still plans to release new music: "“I will be recording, but this will be my last year in concert," she told Detroit TV station Local 4 in 2017. "This is it.” Get tickets here.

Ozzy Osbourne

After taking his last bow alongside his band Black Sabbath in early 2017, Ozzy Osbourne announced his solo farewell tour on Nov. 6. The end of his "Crazy Train" isn't imminent, though — this new jaunt will take him out on the road until 2020. "People keep asking me when I’m retiring," Osbourne, 69, said in a statement. "This will be my final world tour, but I can’t say I won’t do some shows here and there." Get tickets here.

Anita Baker

Anita Baker is limiting her "Sweet Love." The Grammy-winning legend previously announced her retirement in January 2017. A year later, she made it official with a farewell tour tease on Jan. 1. Dates and details have not yet been revealed, but in a tweet, Baker said the tour would begin in March. "We'll paint pictures together 2 last a Lifetime... "Let's Party!" #OneLastTime," wrote Baker, 60, in part.  Get tickets for the tour here.

Slayer

“I like singing and just spitting that s--- out and convincing everybody that this guy is a f---ing maniac," Slayer frontman Tom Araya, 56, told Loudwire in 2016. But he admitted, “After 35 years, it’s time to like, collect my pension." On Jan. 22, the heavy metal band announced the Final World Tour. So far, the dates on their official website take the group from San Diego in May to Austin in June.  Get tickets for the tour on sale now.

Neil Diamond

The "Sweet Caroline" singer announced on Jan. 22 that he canceled the final leg of his 50th-anniversary tour and was retiring from touring after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. “It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring," wrote Diamond, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys on Jan. 28, on his official website. "I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years." However, the 77-year-old musician isn't ready to entirely hang up his hat. “I plan to remain active in writing, recording and other projects for a long time to come,” he wrote. “My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been ‘so good, so good, so good’ thanks to you.”
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